Thesis examined the function of research on external audiences within U.S. air Force base level public relations offices. The findings were examined to determine if education, experience level and other factors affected the individual's propensity to employ research on external publics. Past study has concentrated on the highest levels of command where little use of research was found. This remained consistent at the base level yet respondents indicated that they engaged in much informal opinion seeking and it was found that graduate level formal education corresponded with conducting two-way symmetric and asymmetric models of public relations (models of public relations where research is most useful). While conducting almost no formal research on the opinions of publics, PAOs, actively engaged in informal means (primarily contacts with opinion leaders and, to a lesser extent, contracts with the general public) to assess what publics think and preferred a two-way method of public relations as their primary goal for their public relations activities. Formal methods of research remain problematic for the PAO; formal bars, lengthy and demanding approval procedures and budgetary constraints all impede the PAO's ability to conduct formal research.